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Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

6 Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Downloads for Your App

6 Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Downloads for Your App

Okay folks, this helpful article teaches you ways to use search optimization to get the most downloads for your app. SEO is so important and I use it to help my clients with their blogs/social media. Read on for the tips..

6 Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Downloads for Your App

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Many startups spend huge amounts of money on advertising, yet neglect app store optimization. App store optimization is the most cost-effective method to organically increase your installs for a couple of reasons:

According to Forrester, a staggering 63 percent of all app installs come from general browsing in the app store. By optimizing your app to be discovered through search, you can dramatically increase the number of downloads you receive for your mobile app.
It’s free! If you have a solid app store optimization strategy and execute properly, you will get tons of organic and free installs to your app.

Here are a few tips and tricks:

1. Choose the right title.

The title of your app ranks more heavily than the rest of the meta-data, so choose it wisely. Make sure you target words in your title that you want to hit the most, words that you’re confident about. Tools like SensorTower and AppAnnie can provide you accurate traffic volumes and difficulties of certain keywords. Also, make sure you don’t keyword stuff the title; the app store will reject your app.

2. Select situational keywords.

Depending on how many downloads and how much traffic your app is already getting, you must adjust your keywords. For example, if your app is already getting high traffic and downloads, you can target more competitive keywords that have higher traffic. If you are just starting up an app that nobody knows about and isn’t getting featured, I recommend choosing keywords that have a low difficulty level and medium traffic (according to analytic tools like SensorTower or AppAnnie). There are likely some keywords that are gems that others are not targeting and may have decent traffic.

3. Localize by country.

As every app store is separated geographically by country, it is really wise to localize your app to optimize it for discovery across different languages. The app store allows you to change the meta-data within your app depending on which country is searching for your app. Some companies have used a mixture of Google translate and native speakers to help localize their apps, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to localize as well. Localization is a huge aspect of having an effective presence globally. Just think of all these untapped markets that you can reach and how easily you could acquire more users with these markets.

4. Use powerful images and wording.

Once people are able to discover your app, the rest is up to how well your app listing converts into downloads. To optimize conversions, you must use beautiful images to entice users to want to download your app. Make sure to include the most attractive aspects of your app and to include captions in the pictures as well. You’d be surprised at how a simple tweak of an image or word can translate in terms of conversion percentages.

5. Pay attention to ratings, reviews and the description.

When was the last time you downloaded an app that had one star? Ratings and reviews don’t factor in as much to discovery as the keywords and the title, but they do have a huge impact on conversion rates. Users are probably more likely to download your app if it has received a large number of positive reviews. Make sure to also include an interesting and enticing description to explain to users what your app does!

6. Follow the data.

App store optimization is an ongoing process that takes experience, time and testing to get right. Make sure to thoroughly test out keywords over periods of time, and also test out the images/description of your app to see which ones are converting the best. At the end of the day, data doesn’t lie, so make sure you follow the data and find out what works for your app specifically.

 

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9 Things to Never Say

9 Things to Never Say

Anybody that knows me even a little would probably be able to tell you that I’m a freak for proper communication. My obsession relates to grammar, spelling, and the ever popular Mom phrase, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.”

Whether in business or personal communications, your words not only convey a specific message but also convey your own personality, skill, beliefs, and much more. As a human that cares about others and as an Online Business Management and Virtual Assistant; it is of paramount importance that what I convey tells folks that I care enough to have thought things through. If I had terrible communication skills I would not be a successful mother, entrepreneur, friend, or partner. I found this excellent article and while I may have written it differently, I totally agree with the 9 Things to Never Say.

9 Things to Never Say

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We’ve all said things that people interpreted much differently than we thought they would. These seemingly benign comments lead to the awful feeling that only comes when you’ve planted your foot firmly into your mouth.

Verbal slip-ups often occur because we say things without knowledge of the subtle implications they carry. Understanding these implications requires social awareness — the ability to pick up on the emotions and experiences of other people.
TalentSmart has tested the emotional intelligence (EQ) of more than a million people and discovered that social awareness is a skill in which many of us are lacking.

We lack social awareness because we’re so focused on what we’re going to say next — and how what other people are saying affects us — that we completely lose sight of other people.

This is a problem because people are complicated. You can’t hope to understand someone until you focus all of your attention in his or her direction.

The beauty of social awareness is that a few simple adjustments to what you say can vastly improve your relationships with other people.

To that end, there are some phrases that emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid in casual conversation. The following are the worst offenders. You should avoid them at all costs.

1. “You look tired.”

Tired people are incredibly unappealing — they have droopy eyes and messy hair, they have trouble concentrating, and they’re as grouchy as they come. Telling someone he looks tired implies all of the above and then some.

Instead say: “Is everything okay?” Most people ask if someone is tired because they’re intending to be helpful (they want to know if the other person is okay). Instead of assuming someone’s disposition, just ask. This way, he can open up and share. More importantly, he will see you as concerned instead of rude.

2. “You always…” or “You never…”

No one always or never does anything. People don’t see themselves as one-dimensional, so you shouldn’t attempt to define them as such. These phrases make people defensive and closed off to your message, which is a really bad thing because you likely use these phrases when you have something important to discuss.

Instead say: Simply point out what the other person did that’s a problem for you. Stick to the facts. If the frequency of the behavior is an issue, you can always say, “It seems like you do this often.” or “You do this often enough for me to notice.”

3. “As I said before…”

We all forget things from time to time. This phrase makes it sound as if you’re insulted at having to repeat yourself, which is hard on the recipient (someone who is genuinely interested in hearing your perspective). Getting insulted over having to repeat yourself suggests that either you’re insecure or you think you’re better than everyone else (or both!). Few people who use this phrase actually feel this way.

Instead say: When you say it again, see what you can do to convey the message in a clearer and more interesting manner. This way they’ll remember what you said.

4. “Good luck.”

This is a subtle one. It certainly isn’t the end of the world if you wish someone good luck, but you can do better because this phrase implies that they need luck to succeed.

Instead say: “I know you have what it takes.” This is better than wishing her luck because suggesting that she has the skills needed to succeed provides a huge boost of confidence. You’ll stand out from everyone else who simply wishes her luck.

5. “It’s up to you.“ or “Whatever you want.”

While you may be indifferent to the question, your opinion is important to the person asking (or else he wouldn’t have asked you in the first place).

Instead say: ”I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but a couple things to consider are…” When you offer an opinion (even without choosing a side), it shows that you care about the person asking.

6. “Well at least I’ve never ___.”

This phrase is an aggressive way to shift attention away from your mistake by pointing out an old, likely irrelevant mistake the other person made (and one you should have forgiven her for by now).

Instead say: “I’m sorry.” Owning up to your mistake is the best way to bring the discussion to a more rational, calm place so that you can work things out. Admitting guilt is an amazing way to prevent escalation.

7. “Wow, you’ve lost a ton of weight!”

Once again, a well-meaning comment — in this case a compliment — creates the impression that you’re being critical. Telling someone that she has lost a lot of weight suggests that she used to look fat or unattractive.

Instead say: “You look fantastic.” This one is an easy fix. Instead of comparing how she looks now to how she used to look, just compliment her for looking great. It takes the past right out of the picture.

8. “You were too good for her anyway.”

When someone severs ties with a relationship of any type, personal or professional, this comment implies he has bad taste and made a poor choice in the first place.

Related: 10 Misused Words That Make Smart People Look Stupid

Instead say: “Her loss!” This provides the same enthusiastic support and optimism without any implied criticism.

9. “You look great for your age.”

Using “for your” as a qualifier always comes across as condescending and rude. No one wants to be smart for an athlete or in good shape relative to other people who are also knocking on death’s door. People simply want to be smart and fit.

Instead say: “You look great.” This one is another easy fix. Genuine compliments don’t need qualifiers.

Bringing It All Together

In everyday conversation, it’s the little things that make all the difference. Try these suggestions out, and you’ll be amazed at the positive response you get.

 
 

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Why Henry Ford’s Most Famous Quote is Dead Wrong

Why Henry Ford’s Most Famous Quote is Dead Wrong

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Most folks are aware of my love for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Most folks know Henry Ford was a 4-wheeled entrepreneur, but they may not know he was involved in Harley Davidson’s formative years. And being from the south where “Spanish Moss” grows heavily, I have a quirky tickle that Ford used this natural resource to stuff his automobile seats. And so, when I saw Henry Ford in the title of this article, I had to click it and read more. In particular, I found this paragraph thought provoking:

“While your customers may not know the form factors available to them (that’s where you as a business can innovate), they often understand their problems, or can, at minimum, communicate enough information so that you can use customer feedback appropriately to grow your business.”

As an Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant, my clients come to me knowing they need help in this, that, or the other area; yet they don’t always know what’s involved in making their vision come to life. This is actually the best part of my job – taking a client’s vision and surprising them with exceptional results they didn’t even know were possible.

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Henry Ford was one of the world’s great innovators and a quotable gentleman at that, particularly in the realms of business and innovation. Perhaps the most famous quote attributed to Ford is this: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

While there’s no real proof Ford ever said this, the words are still applied to him as proof that true innovation is done without customer input. But, even if one of the most successful businessmen in American history had said it, it wouldn’t make the maxim any more applicable.

In fact, customers would probably have told Ford exactly what they wanted — specifically, a faster mode of transportation. They might not have mentioned the need for a combustion engine, but that’s part of the art and science of understanding customer feedback.

While your customers may not know the form factors available to them (that’s where you as a business can innovate), they often understand their problems, or can, at minimum, communicate enough information so that you can use customer feedback appropriately to grow your business. Here’s how.

Ask good questions.

Often, customers know what they want, but don’t know how to articulate it. So, ask specific questions that allow you to glean insights to use for your innovation. For example, using multiple-choice questions (with an option for “other” and space to write in an answer) is a good way to survey your customers. Studies show that giving a customer too many choices often nets you poor feedback, but it’s also important to give them the opportunity to bring up something you haven’t anticipated.

You should also ask about their personal or business problems. If you are selling and innovating with technology for small businesses, don’t ask features-based questions, because most small business customers aren’t thinking about technology features. They are trying to make more money, save time, save costs, etc. So, ask questions around their problems and then bridge the gap with your innovation — much like Ford did.

Study behavior and numbers.

Numbers and behavior are more reliable feedback indicators than words alone. If your customers say they love a product in green, but they keep buying blue, stick with the blue. Be relentless in studying your data and behaviors to make sure that their words match their actions.

Beware of the vocal minority.

While it’s important to look at feedback, including from online channels and customer service, you need to delve into who is giving that feedback. For example, if you are getting posts about a problem, make it’s a real problem. If it doesn’t exist, ignore it.

The same goes for wants. A handful of people may be squeaky wheels about a personal want, but that doesn’t mean the broader base of customers wants it, so do more research.

Also, check for minions. Are the same group of people always asking for something or complaining together? If so, they may be just a co-dependent group of trolls. If you are seeing different customers giving feedback and input around the same issues, that is more likely to be reliable than many posts or asks from the same group of people. The exception to this is when the group is considered influential among your customer base.

It’s usually a good trick to solicit your feedback through private polls instead of public ones so your community isn’t swayed by the vocal minority.

Sample a relevant group.

Reach out to your best existing and desired target customers to get a broader scope of feedback. If you aren’t sure what your customers think, ask a meaningful number of them. Shockingly, customers are more likely to give you feedback if you actually ask them (and if they feel like offering it will ultimately benefit them). But, make sure that they are truly buyers — if responders aren’t going to buy your product, their responses don’t help you or them.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Entrepreneurship

 

5 Habits of Successful People Before 8 a.m.

5 Habits of Successful People Before 8 a.m.

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5 Habits of Successful People Before 8 a.m.

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I found this article and while it has some useful information, I do believe that effective habits are not “one size fits all”. As an Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant, I practice these basic habits but with a little different approach. I hope you find value in these tips and tweak them for your own success.

The difference between successful people and everyone else is the way they utilize time. With only so many hours in a day, you need to maximize those hours. The best of the best are up early and getting to work before their peers have rolled out of bed. So, what are the top five habits of successful people before 8 am?

1. Use a real alarm clock.
You might look at this tip and wonder what difference it really makes. A real alarm clock forces you to get out of bed. For example, if you use your phone as an alarm clock all you have to do is reach over and press the screen. Unsurprisingly, most people take five more minutes.

But if the alarm clock is on the other side of the room, you’re forced to get out of bed. Furthermore, using a real alarm clock discourages you from checking social media and wasting precious time.

I don’t know about you but I haven’t owned a ‘real alarm clock’ in ages. I do use my iPhone as an alarm, not only for waking up, but as extra insurance to really important meetings, calls, or actions I need to take. I set my alarm 15 minutes before I dedicate my foot to hit the floor. Yes, I do snooze but I am not falling back to sleep. I use a tone that is loud enough to wake me but not a shrill or obnoxious noise (like nails on a chalkboard).

2. Take some time to breathe.
Successful people don’t leap out of bed and head for the computer. They understand the importance of reducing stress and relaxing. More often than not, they’re the people enjoying a cup of coffee or reading a book before they get started with the day’s work.
Rituals like this will enable you to clear your head and get yourself in the right state of mind for the day ahead.

I sort of giggled at this one… With only one leg, I don’t “leap” anywhere. I have by default slowed my roll so to speak. The routine of putting my prosthetic on allows me a couple of minutes to be thankful each morning, giving me motivation to make this day a great day. Then I usually head straight for the coffee pot.

3. Set out your clothes the night before.
Setting out your clothes for the next day is a sign of an organized mind. It means the next day is going to be all about what you’re going to do, rather than focusing on trivial matters. This will save you time the next day and enable you to maximize every single minute.

Being a Virtual Assistant I can work from anywhere and still be in my jammies. But when I was in the corporate world of proper dress, traffic jams, and shared offices; I did select my clothes the evening before. Now I will grant you that if I have a video conference, I do get cleaned up and dressed. Your appearance says a lot about you, so be comfortable and dress according to who your profession.

4. Get in a workout.
Fitness is important for your health. Successful people prioritize a workout for another reason though. Exercise is scientifically proven to get those endorphins racing. Endorphins are the happy drugs that your brain produces in certain circumstances, and one of them is exercise.

It doesn’t have to be a sweaty, exhausting workout. It could involve some gentle minutes on an exercise bike, a short jog or a yoga session. Find something that works for you.

I have a habit of doing 3 small workouts during the day and even sometimes a few stretches when I need a break from sitting in my desk chair. When I was in the corporate world I even learned a few stretches that can be done standing at a copy machine, standing in your office, and even sitting in my desk chair.

5. Read something you enjoy.
We mentioned earlier how successful people tend to read when they get up early. They don’t watch TV or catch up on work emails. Reading gets the brain working, and it improves comprehension. But reading something negative or something boring, such as that email from your boss, sets a tone for the day.

Consider starting off the day with a self-improvement book or something that you can learn from. For example, if you’re interested in financial news start with that.

I read for a living so it’s sometimes hard to really get involved in a good book or magazine. I do however like to spend about an hour each day reading online news and articles that relate to motorcycling, entrepreneurship and educational materials for marketing. I close out most of my days reading my Highway for Hope Bible but you can read whatever you like, of course. Perhaps consider closing your day with a self improvement book, an industry magazine, or something that makes you smile.

Together these rituals are going to keep you healthy and productive, setting a positive tone for the day ahead. Don’t try to implement these changes all at once. Some minor changes implemented gradually will help you to adjust to your new morning routine.

 

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4 Marketing Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From April the Giraffe

4 Marketing Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From April the Giraffe
I’ll be honest and tell you that I had not heard of April until I saw this article. Scratching my head at the title referencing a giraffe and entrepreneurs; I just had to click the link out of pure curiosity. Sure enough, you can take some good lessons away from April’s story.

In particular, this quote really grabbed me and made me knod in appreciation. “…from the seed of an idea through execution, do what you do well. You never know just how many people will be watching.”

Most folks know I lost part of my leg in a motorcycle accident. Social media in many forms have taken me farther than I ever could have imagined. From folks following the dream I live, to folks supporting my struggles, and from making my Online Business Management and Virtual Assistant network thrive; I have been down before, but never for very long. The internet and the people behind the screens have truly inspired, supported, and sought my advice in many capacities.

4 Marketing Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From April the Giraffe

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The internet has recently been taken over by a very tall and overly pregnant lady.

You may have heard of her. Her name is April. April the Giraffe. This chick has taken over the internet, with pregnant human women going viral for impersonating her.

April is a powerful woman, as I assume most pregnant women are.

Almost 100,000 people are tuning in on YouTube at any given minute to see if she’s birthed her fourth calf yet. When someone or something can garner the accumulative attention of millions, it’s worth taking note.

And while April is undeniably powerful, she is not nearly as powerful as the creative team behind her at Animal Adventure Park. Here are four lessons you can borrow from Animal Adventure Park to spark your own sensation.

1. Your ordinary is someone else’s extraordinary.
You frequently forget there are things you find common and ordinary that others simply find extraordinary. This is the main basis for why Animal Adventure Park’s livestream has captivated so many, hitting headlines daily for over a week. Giraffes give birth on a regular basis. Or, at least I assume so.

Since April has been livestreaming, two other baby giraffes have been born stateside. For zookeepers, a giraffe having a calf is ordinary. Yet, for the general population, a giraffe having a calf is extraordinary. What is your ordinary that others would find extraordinary?

2. Utilize the tools you have at your fingertips.

I imagine it went something like this: April’s caretakers were talking about the upcoming birth, and someone nonchalantly mentioned, “Perhaps we could livestream it for people to see.”

The tools were already there to livestream. They just decided to use them unlike any other zoo had. Well played, Animal Adventure Park. What tools are you not taking full advantage of?

3. Start before you’re “ready.”

What I don’t think many people understand is that Animal Adventure Park isn’t even open yet. It’s bloody brilliant! There is so much press and news coverage about this business, and it hasn’t even opened its doors for day one.

That’s solid proof there is business genius in starting before you feel ready. With a well-thought out plan, anything is possible. It’s not about waiting until it’s perfect. It’s about knowing how to execute effectively. Where can you begin executing while still perfecting?

4. Don’t forget a call to action.

An imperative part of doing business is making it extremely easy for people to buy or support you. I was so impressed to find in the description on Animal Adventure Park’s live stream video that they did not forget a call to action.

Even better, they gave two! Take your pick to support the organization: Download GiraffeMoji for $1.99 from the App Store, or simply donate to the organization’s GoFundMe page. (As of this writing, it’s just shy of the $50,000 goal.)

What a failure it would have been to have that many people at your fingertips without an easy way for people to engage with the business. Yet, it’s a common business mistake.

Animal Adventure Park, well, they hit it out of the park with April. I doubt they thought it would blow up quite like it has or that there would be April the Giraffe memes, pregnant women imitating April, or people actually angry because her labor is taking “too” long. Cut the poor lady a break!

Here’s what they do know. First, pregnancy is magical, and it can captivate any mammal. Second, from the seed of an idea through execution, do what you do well. You never know just how many people will be watching.

 

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Marketing 101: Metrics

Marketing 101: Metrics

With an Online Business Management and Virtual Assistant Network like The Write Hand, LLC; you get top quality services that produces results you can see.  We hope you enjoy this article’ it could be quite useful across most businesses.

Marketing 101: Metrics

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In today’s world, nearly everything can be measured by metrics: Facebook likes, Twitter followers, YouTube views, etc. In a world of big data, metrics drive our behavior, but in sixteen years in business, “metrics” is a word I’ve come to hate. Although metrics can be great in determining ad or website performance, when it comes to overall marketing efforts, focusing on metrics alone may be what kills your marketing plan.

In fact, focusing on metrics can make you lose sight of your overall goals. Most great marketing successes, regardless of your product, are the cumulative result of multiple actions. You can’t depend on a direct measure of success from every single action, otherwise you would get stuck in your tracks early on. Planting and cultivating seeds takes time.

If it’s not working, maybe you’re doing it wrong

Something important to keep in mind is that sometimes marketing efforts don’t work because they are not being done correctly. You may need to put some time and effort into researching the meaning behind your dismal metrics. Could your blogging be ineffective because you have misidentified your potential audience? Have you run out of things to say? If that’s the case, start researching four to six successful companies with a similar audience. Whether you’re researching the kinds of questions they answer with their blog or what they’re doing in terms of their blog and social media, you may find some great information. Maybe there are social media sites that you should be on and aren’t, or vice versa. If you look at four to six companies in your market, you’ll start to see a trend of what’s working for them.

Bottom up marketing

Another problem with blindly following metrics can be saying no to opportunities that may benefit you in the long run. One of my favorite strategies is “bottom up marketing.” Mark Victor Hanson, one of the master minds behind the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, is a great example. He did every radio interview and never turned down a single opportunity; he and his co-author built an entire empire through bottom up marketing. It’s worth your while to allow exposure to build on itself and lead to success. Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way (within reason), no matter how small the blog or podcast. We all want to be on The Tonight Show, but let’s face it, everyone has to start somewhere.

Stop doing stuff that doesn’t matter

Focus on the most effective ways to spend your time and money. Often, we fall into the habit of implementing marketing efforts because they’re easy. Running ads, for example, can be easy, and may feel productive. But ads should be compelling and give the viewers something to act on. The same is true for press releases.

Be realistic with your pitching efforts. Put plenty of effort into crafting a pitch that shows you researched the outlet, and have carefully considered how your product fits. Pitching yourself to national shows when you are just starting out may not be the most efficient use of your time. Remember what I said about bottom up marketing.

Coordinate your marketing efforts

One of the quickest ways to kill a product is to not promote it; the other is to only do one thing at a time to see which one gives you the most bounce. Although testing your efforts separately to see how effective they are can be appealing, the problem with this is that it’s all metric-driven instead of building momentum. Marketing by doing one thing at a time and then waiting to see what comes of the action you took is the surest way to fail. Do a lot of things (or several, if you’re short on time) and do them consistently.

Slow and steady wins the race

Inconsistency is one of the big reasons for failure. It goes back to my “say yes to everything” advice; let your marketing efforts build, understand what your audience wants, and be consistent. If you’re short on time, find a few things that are an effective use of your time and do them well.

People like what other people like

Reviews are something you should always pursue, no matter how old your product or service. Testimonials and reviews are almost as good as a personal word-of-mouth recommendation. Why? Because people like what other people like.

Ultimately, metrics are a powerful tool, but instead of focusing on each effort’s individual metrics, it’s best to take review your metrics with some perspective. When planning your marketing efforts, I urge you to emphasize consistency. Use metrics as a tool to identify areas that can be improved, and allow some time for your marketing efforts to build on one another. Success is rarely the direct result of one action, but rather the accumulation of many efforts.

 

 

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How to Master the Art of the First Impression

How to Master the Art of the First Impression

How to Master the Art of the First Impression

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Amy Cuddy, a psychologist at the Harvard Business School, has been studying first impressions for more than a decade. She and her colleagues found that we make snap judgments about other people that answer two primary questions:

  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I respect this person’s capabilities?

According to Cuddy’s research, 80 to 90 percent of a first impression is based on these two traits. Subconsciously, you and the people you meet are asking yourselves, “Can I trust that this person has good intentions toward me?” and “Is this person capable?”

We often assume that competence is the most important factor, and people have a tendency to play this up when they meet someone; however, Cuddy’s research shows that trust is the most important factor. In order for your competence to matter, people must trust you first. If there’s no trust, people actually perceive competence as a negative. As Cuddy said, “A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve achieved trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.”

How to Master the Art of the First Impression

Since it only takes seconds for someone to decide if you’re trustworthy and competent, and research shows that first impressions are very difficult to change, the pressure that comes with meeting new people is justifiably intense.

If you try to project confidence but haven’t first established trust, your efforts will backfire. No one wants to end up respected but disliked. As Cuddy said, “If someone you’re trying to influence doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion, because you come across as manipulative.”

Once you recognize the importance of trustworthiness over competence, you can take control of the first impressions you make. Here are some tips to help you make that happen the next time you meet someone new:

1. Let the person you’re meeting speak first.

Let them take the lead in the conversation, and you can always ask good questions to help this along. Taking the floor right away shows dominance, and that won’t help you build trust. Trust and warmth are created when people feel understood, and they need to be doing a lot of sharing for that to happen.

2. Use positive body language.

Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice and making certain they’re positive will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the speaker are all forms of positive body language, which can make all the difference.

3. Put away your phone.

It’s impossible to build trust and monitor your phone at the same time. Nothing turns people off like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all your energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.

4. Make time for small talk.

It might sound trivial, but research shows that starting meetings with just five minutes of small talk gets better results. Many trust builders, such as small talk, can seem a waste of time to people who don’t understand their purpose.

5. Practice active listening.

Active listening means concentrating on what the other person is saying, rather than planning what you’re going to say next. Asking insightful questions is a great way to illustrate that you’re really paying attention. If you’re not checking for understanding or asking a probing question, you shouldn’t be talking. Not only does thinking about what you’re going to say next take your attention away from the speaker, hijacking the conversation shows that you think you have something more important to say. This means that you shouldn’t jump in with solutions to the speaker’s problems. It’s human nature to want to help people, but what a lot of us don’t realize is that when we jump in with advice or a solution, we’re shutting the other person down and destroying trust. It’s essentially a more socially acceptable way of saying, “Okay, I’ve got it. You can stop now!” The effect is the same.

6. Do your homework.

People love it when you know things about them that they didn’t have to share. Not creepy stuff, but simple facts that you took the time to learn from their LinkedIn page or company website. While this may not work for chance encounters, it’s crucial when a first meeting is planned ahead of time, such as a job interview or a consultation with a potential client. Find out as much as you can about all the people you’re meeting, their company, their company’s primary challenges, and so on. This demonstrates competence and trustworthiness by highlighting your initiative and responsibility.

Bringing It All Together

It’s the little things that make a first impression a good one, and the importance of establishing trust cannot be overstated. Now if someone would just tell this to the politicians!

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Entrepreneurship

 

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